LA County Takes Historic Steps to Phase Out Oil Drilling

Stoneview Nature Center and Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, adjacent to the Inglewood Oil Field in the Baldwin Hills area of South LA.

NRDC

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously yesterday to start the process of phasing out oil drilling in unincorporated parts of the County, including within the largest urban oil field in the country, the Inglewood Oil Field.

This historic action puts LA County on the path to being the first county anywhere to phase out existing drilling, and comes on the heels of Culver City’s unprecedented vote in June to phase out oil drilling within its borders. With the City of Los Angeles also considering a phase-out plan, southern California is quickly becoming ground zero for ambitious, community-focused efforts to finally start addressing the severe health and climate impacts of neighborhood oil drilling.

In yesterday's vote, the Supervisors directed County agencies to update their regulations to prohibit new oil drilling and designate existing drilling as nonconforming uses, and to report back within 120 days on a process to determine the most accelerated phase-out period possible, using Culver City’s 5-year phase-out period as a guidepost.

The Board also voted yesterday to create a pilot program to ensure that idle and orphaned oil wells are properly closed and cleaned up, and to expand the county’s task force focused on a just transition for fossil fuel workers and communities.

There’s still a lot of work to do and these actions are long overdue, but NRDC is grateful to all of the Supervisors and their staffs for this courageous vote, and in particular Supervisor Holly Mitchell for leading the charge.

About the Authors

Damon Nagami

Senior Attorney, Lands Division, Nature Program

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